SYDNEY, Aug. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Zara Phillips MBE, eventing team Olympic silver medallist in London 2012 and former European and World Champion, has been announced as the first Magic Millions Racing Women (MMRW) Ambassador, an appointment that will see her visit Australia in early January 2013 for the week-long Magic Millions Carnival.
An internationally accomplished equestrienne, Ms Phillips brings to the MMRW initiative a genuine passion for the industry and depth of knowledge. She fosters a lifelong passion for horses, ignited by her parents and grandmother's commitment to thoroughbred sporting endeavours.
Daughter of Princess Anne and Captain Mark Phillips, Ms Phillips holds a number of elite sporting accolades, including earlier this month when she won a silver medal in team eventing at the London Olympic Games. She is a former European individual and team Gold medallist as well as individual World Champion in 2006. She was named the 2006 BBC Sports Personality of the Year and was conferred a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for services to equestrianism in 2007.
Magic Million's Racing Women initiative was created to educate and encourage Australian women to become more active in all aspects of the thoroughbred racing industry. Ms Phillips will be the perfect spokesperson to create awareness for this important initiative in Australia and internationally.
Speaking from her UK stables post-Olympics, Ms Phillips said how pleased she is to be associated with Australia's premier thoroughbred sales company, Magic Millions, and to be representing its Racing Women initiative.
"My passion for horses and all aspects of equestrian competition stems from my family's influence. My mother rode for the British team at the 1976 Montreal Olympics and my father won Gold at the Munich Olympics in 1972 as well as a team Silver in the Seoul Olympics in 1988. He has just retired from being coach for the US eventing team after 20 years.
"My grandmother's passion for racing is certainly no secret. She has a good number of horses in training each season, so I have developed an appreciation for the racing side and a strong understanding about the intricacies of breeding and training required. The rewards speak for themselves - it is certainly exhilarating to see a horse you have a vested interested in cross the line first as I know firsthand having trained a few horses over fences myself.
"Beyond ownership women continue to play an important role in horse racing and bloodstock in a number of areas. Australia is a serious contender internationally and is renowned for the quality of its thoroughbreds, racing carnivals and professionalism. It will be terrific to experience the Carnival first-hand and inspire ladies to get more involved," Ms Phillips said.
MMRW was launched in 2011 by Magic Millions co-owner and thoroughbred horse racing industry advocate, Katie Page-Harvey. Her vision is to continue to increase the profile of women in the sector with which she has been involved for over 30 years. Ms Page-Harvey is delighted to have such an internationally accomplished equestrienne to help educate women about the MMRW initiative.
"We are delighted that Zara has agreed to be the inaugural ambassador for the Magic Millions Racing Women initiative. She was an exemplary ambassador for her sport and her country at the recent Olympic Games in London and we look forward to welcoming her to Australia in January.
"The aim of the Racing Women initiative is to increase the profile of women within our industry and involve more women in ownership. Thoroughbred racing contributes AUD$5 billion to gross domestic product each year* and we know women work to create a lot of this output.
"We want to shine a light on women's vital contribution and make it easy for women to participate through horse ownership. Statistics indicate that less than 25% of Australia's racehorses are owned by women either as individuals or in all-female partnerships**. I'd like to see more. Through ownership you become involved in all facets of the business - training, tactics and the thrill of a win is like nothing else", Ms Page-Harvey said.
Queensland Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Jann Stuckey, said Ms Phillips' presence at the Magic Millions Raceday will draw national and international attention.
"We are very excited to welcome Ms Phillips to Queensland for this iconic race day and I would like to congratulate her on securing the role as ambassador for the Magic Millions Racing Women initiative.
"To attract an internationally recognised equestrienne of Ms Phillips' standard to the Magic Millions Raceday and Carnival is a fantastic example of Queensland's growing status as a premier event and holiday destination.
"The Newman Government recognises the importance of events like Magic Millions in supporting Queensland's tourism industry - contributing to our 2020 target of doubling overnight visitor expenditure to AUD$30 billion," said Ms Stuckey.
Ms Phillips will visit Australia and attend the Magic Millions Carnival and Raceday on Saturday 12 January 2013 on the Gold Coast, Queensland, where the world's first women's-only incentive - Magic Millions Racing Women (MMRW) 2YO Classic - will be run. The race offers a prize money incentive of AUD$500,000, which will be distributed between the top four 'all female owned or leased' horses in finishing order.
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*Source: CBA Discuss. Edition 16. 5 April 2012: Racing Women, the personalities behind the multi-billion dollar thoroughbred business
**Source: Racing Information Services Australia Pty Ltd | (RISA) www.risa.com.au
NOTE TO EDITORS:
The inaugural Magic Millions Racing Women 2 year-old Classic will be run on Saturday 12 January 2013 at Gold Coast Turf Club, Queensland, Australia. The Magic Millions Racing Women's Bonus of AUD$500,000 will be distributed between the top four "all female owned or leased" horses in finishing order of the 2013 $2 Million Magic Millions 2YO Classic. Full details and conditions of the race and bonus can be found at http://www.magicmillions.com.au/horse-sales/2013/ or telephone +61 7 5504 1200.
Magic Millions http://www.magicmillions.com.au/ is Australia's premier thoroughbred sales company. Each January it holds internationally renowned yearling sales and the Magic Millions Raceday and Summer Carnival on the Gold Coast. The Magic Millions Raceday is the largest sales incentive race day in the world offering a potential AUD$4.7 million in prize money.
SOURCE Magic Millions